Renovation, which cost Rs.25 lakh, taken up using contributions of police personnel

Sri Annapoorneswari Temple, popularly known as ‘police temple,' at Muthalakkulam in Kozhikode district has been reopened for devotees after a four-month renovation.

The temple, where police personnel assume key administrative posts in the temple committee, was renovated utilising the voluntary contributions of police personnel and sponsors.

Additional Director-General of Police (North Zone) Rajesh Diwan, City Police Commissioner and temple administrative committee president Anoop Kuruvila John, and City Police Commissioner of Thrissur P. Vijayan took part in the special ceremonies at the temple here on Monday that marked the conclusion of the three-day special pujas in connection with the temple reopening.

Chief temple priest Chennas Sankara Narayanan Namboodiri and temple priest T.K. Aniyan Namboodiri led the ceremonies.

The temple was renovated at a cost of Rs.25 lakh. It was in January that the work formally began under an expert team from Thirunavaya. A special renovation committee, headed by retired police superintendent N. Subhash Babu, was constituted to look into the timely completion of the work.

“We owe a great deal to former city police commissioner of Kozhikode P. Vijayan who took special initiative to begin the work properly with the support of all well-wishers within the police community and outside,” Mr. Subhash Babu said. Anoop Kuruvila John, City Police Commissioner, also extended his warm support for the undertaking, he said.

The consecration ceremony was a moment of pride for the police community here. They assumed all the key positions in the temple administrative committee. According to convention, the City Police Commissioner is the president of the temple administrative committee. The Assistant Commissioner (Administration) and the Assistant Commissioner (Traffic) are the vice-president and the secretary, respectively, and all the writers of police stations within the city limits are members.

The custom of police officers handling the administrative affairs of the temple goes back to the British period. The British got the temple from the Mudaliyar community and maintained it to cater to the spiritual needs of the Hindu faithful who were then part of the police force in Kozhikode. The custom continued even after the British left.

The remuneration of the temple priest and the other two staff members is paid from a common fund mobilised by the police personnel. The temple priest gets a monthly remuneration of Rs.6,000 from this fund. Every month, police personnel in the city limits contribute Rs.5 from their salary to meet the expenses of the temple. The temple priest is permitted to stay at the police quarters.

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